Montana Race for U.S. Senate Heats Up - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Montana Race for U.S. Senate Heats Up

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MISSOULA -

The race to fill Montana's first open U.S. Senate seat in decades is heating up.

U.S. Representative Steve Daines announced his candidacy yesterday, raising the profile of the race that could determine control of the Senate.

The campaign for Democrat forerunner, Lieutenant Governor John Walsh, immediately released an Internet attack ad on Daines, following his announcement.

The attack ad states Daines' vote with the House GOP on the government shutdown cost Montana $45 million in revenue.

But, during his announcement yesterday, Daines said he believes Obamacare should be repealed because Montanans don't want it, and the country can't afford it.

Montana GOP officials said their candidate Steve Daines will give them a great opportunity to pick up a seat held by Senator Max Baucus for 35 years.

"We're going to be talking about more jobs and less government and the importance of growing this economy, when we grow the economy, we grow more tax revenues to close the debt and deficient in this country, but also we need less government," Daines said.

But, an attack ad released by Walsh's campaign on Wednesday, touts Daines' vote for the federal government shutdown and for raising the debt ceiling.

Daines won his first election for the U.S. House just one year ago. Walsh has also been in office for less than a year.

Former Republican Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger also announced his bid for the Senate seat as a Democrat. Bohlinger says the government shutdown pushed him to run.

"I want to be a part of a party that is going to work towards building that middle class, and that's what I'll focus my efforts on, creating jobs and opportunity," Bohlinger said.

Dirk Adams of Wilsall is also running on the Democratic ticket.

The primary election takes place on June 3, which will determine which democratic candidate will advance to the general election in November.

The nation will be watching Montana's senate race, as Republicans attempt to regain control of the Senate.

Democrats currently hold the 55-45 majority.

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